Review of Chris Garneau's album El Radio.
In the vein of Sufjan Stevens comes Chris Garneau's sophomore attempt, El Radio. A vague concept of something to do with a story told over a year divided into seasons but I don't really know if it provides the album with its drive, and also perhaps its lofty musical goals. Sometimes it works beautifully, the opener The Leaving Song and later track Fireflies exemplifying the aesthetic behind which the album presents itself, the former being a minor-key dance across a theme, the latter being a stop-start musical sounding number with strange falsetto vocals lightly painted atop the keyboards and percussion.
Sometimes it sounds wonderful, and sometimes it sounds like James Blunt, in ten years time, at the panto. Still, if you put it on in the background and don't pay attention too much it's extravagantly pretty. Pay it more attention and the slick veneer fades, leaving the listener with a slight taste of disappointment at what might have been. If a different direction was taken in recording and production, these songs could be the same fragile beauty we've come to expect from the namecheck at the start of the review. I miss him.